Time to Hunt is a South Korean crime thriller filmed by Yoon Sun-hyun. This film was released by Netflix just a few days ago. The film stars Lee Je-hoon, Ahn Jae Hong, Choi Woo-shik, and Park Hae-soo. The film began its special release at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival which was the first debut of a South Korean film at this event. We know the position of South Korean cinema today, Time to Hunt is still on the right track, at least technically.

The film is set in a period of dystopia in which South Korea is described as having collapsed its economy because their currencies have fallen. Poverty and crime are rampant. Jun, who just got out of prison, was shocked by the reality of his country. Tired with his situation, Jun then asked two of his friends to do a robbery at an underground casino in the city. One last heist. They finally agreed, but it was not the robbery that was a problem for them but was what awaited afterwards.

The story from the beginning had indeed promised something interesting, supported by the extraordinary city setting, which is perfect for the story and with all technical superiority. Cameras, lighting, editing, everything is perfect. The action scenes were exceptional, genuinely extraordinary, and again such a great setting bears witness to the filmmaker’s expertise in making the action scenes. One action scene on the basement parking floor as well as in the hospital was presented so intensely and tense. Almost perfect and far above the competitor’s films produced far across overseas.

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However, unfortunately, the rhythm of tension that has been built so well; the script itself destroyed it. Sentimental dialogues are often presented too much to turn off tension. I got frustrated watching when the characters ignore the urgency of the situation that is happening. The killer is very professional, and they are no match for him. The killer is like a cat chasing rats that easy to play with. It’s a bit odd, why would the killer do it all? Waste of time and energy, and no extra money, other than just inner satisfaction. At least, there are a few small arguments to explain this.

With a very mature technical achievement, Time to Hunt was let down by the excessive sentimental side, which destroyed the rhythm of the action tension. One thing is presented so specially, but on the other hand, it is so disappointing. The style of South Korean film production is indeed often like this, selling a dramatic scene to drain the emotions of the audience. A touching drama moment can be presented in a short time without needing a lot of background story. It could be a strength or could also be a weakness. It is unfortunate; fantastic action scenes with all technical superiority let down by “soap operas” which are entirely unnecessary. Why talk about “value” if you did something wrong from the start.

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His hobbies are watching films since he was a child and exploring the theory and history of film self-taught after graduating from an architectural study. He began writing articles and film reviews from 2006. Because of his experience, the writer was drawn into the teaching staff of a private Television and Film Academy in Yogyakarta to teach Film History, Introduction to Film Art, and Film Theory from 2003 to 2019. His debut book is Memahami Film (Understanding Films/2008) which separates film art as narrative and cinematic. His second book, Memahami Film (Understanding Films - Second Edition/2017), has now been published. These two books are favourite references for film and communication academics throughout Indonesia. He was also fully involved in writing the Compilation Book of the Montage Film Bulletin Vol. 1-3 as well as 30 best-selling Indonesian films 2012-2018. Until now, he still writes film reviews and is actively involved in all film productions in the Montase Film Community. Full bio can be viewed on the montase.org site.


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